In the aftermath of last week’s tragic fatality at Grasstree mine – the second in eight months – mine owner Anglo American has vowed to conduct a comprehensive safety review of all processes at the mine before resuming operations.
Ian Downes was crushed to death under a collapsed wall last Thursday night while pressure grouting the sides of an underground road at the mine near Middlemount.
The 45-year-old contract coal miner was an employee of Valley Longwall International.
In May of this year an electrician collapsed and died in a restricted area of the underground mine. An initial investigation by the Mines Inspectorate found electrician Paul McGuire may have been overcome by inert gas.
Speaking to the Daily Mercury, Anglo American’s coal business chief executive officer Seamus French said Anglo’s first priority was “ensuring the safety and integrity of Grasstree mine and its employees.”
“Over the coming weeks we will review all aspects of this tragic incident as well as our operating processes to ensure the mine is ready for a safe restart and continued safe operation,” Mr French said.
“Our thoughts remain with Ian’s family, friends and colleagues impacted by the tragedy.
“We remain 100% committed to eliminating fatalities within our business and will do all we can to deliver this objective.
“We must learn from this event to ensure this never happens again.”
“Our one and only focus right now is our people’s safety and making sure that when we do restart we are totally confident the working environment is safe for all those who work at the Grasstree mine,” Mr French said.
News Source: Daily Mercury